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regular-article-logo Monday, 27 May 2024

Lakhimpur case: Supreme Court says if Ashish Mishra physically attending events, its violation of bail terms

The apex court had relaxed the interim bail conditions imposed on Ashish Mishra by the trial court and had asked him not to stay either in Uttar Pradesh or in Delhi during the period

PTI New Delhi Published 22.04.24, 02:44 PM
Ashish Mishra.

Ashish Mishra. File picture.

The Supreme Court on Monday said if Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra's son Ashish Mishra, one of the accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, has been physically attending political events, it would be a violation of his bail conditions.

On January 25 last year, the top court had granted interim bail to Ashish Mishra in the "unfortunate ghastly incident" of violence in 2021 at Lakhimpur Kheri, which claimed eight lives.

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The apex court had relaxed the interim bail conditions imposed on Ashish Mishra by the trial court and had asked him not to stay either in Uttar Pradesh or in Delhi during the period.

The case pertains to an incident of violence on October 3, 2021, in which eight people, including four farmers, were killed in Tikunia in Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and PS Narasimha made the observation after advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for one of the victims, alleged that Mishra was attending political events and distributing tricycles at an event.

"If he is physically attending, then it is definitely a violation," the bench observed orally.

Bhushan submitted that Mishra has been violating the bail condition set by the top court which said he can only enter Uttar Pradesh for trial.

"But he has participated in various functions recently, distributing tricycles in Uttar Pradesh. I do not know how this is being allowed. I will file an affidavit and place documents," Bhushan said.

Senior advocate Siddhartha Dave, appearing for Mishra, vehemently opposed the submission, and said, "I am not that foolish to violate liberty like that." The apex court asked Bhushan to file an affidavit substantiating his allegations. However, it did not put anything on record about it in the order passed today.

The top court also asked the public prosecutor and the district police to take effective steps to secure the presence of witnesses so that trial court's time is not wasted.

The apex court in February had extended the interim bail granted to Ashish Mishra and asked its registry to obtain a report from the trial court on the progress of the case.

On September 26 last year, the top court had relaxed the bail conditions of Mishra to enable him to visit and stay in the National Capital Region (NCR) to look after his ailing mother and for the treatment of his daughter.

The violence in the district had erupted when farmers were protesting against Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya's visit to the area.

Four farmers were mowed down by a sports utility vehicle. A driver and two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers were then allegedly lynched by angry farmers. A journalist also died in the violence that triggered outrage.

On December 6 last year, the trial court had framed charges against Mishra and 12 others for the alleged offences of murder, criminal conspiracy and under other penal laws in the case of the farmers' deaths, paving the way for the trial to start.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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